Listening to the charity sector
Charity Sector Consultation hosted at Queen's
On 1st September, the Centre for Not-for-profit and public sector research at Queen’s Management School jointly hosted an important charity sector consultation event with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland and CIPFA (Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy).
The consultation formed part of a UK-wide engagement on the future development of the reporting guidance for charities (known as the Charities SORP) and practices around auditing/examining charities. Representatives from a range of local charities, umbrella bodies, accountants, auditors, regulators and academics from the Centre for Not-for-profit and public sector research debated and fed back on a series of detailed proposals set out by the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland and the UK-wide Charities SORP Committee.
Speaking after the event, Prof. Noel Hyndman (Director of the Centre for Not-for-profit and public sector research, and a member of the SORP Committee), commented that:
“It was great to see the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland, CIPFA and so many other stakeholders from the charity sector involving themselves in the debate here at Queen’s. It is absolutely vital that there is good reporting and accounting by charities. Good reporting and accounting underpins good accountability; good accountability supports the building of trust; and trust is essential for the continuing health and growth of the charity sector. If we do not do this well it can really damage the sector; if we do it well it can really help. That’s why events like today’s consultation are so important.”
Myles McKeown, Head of Compliance and Enquiries at the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland, thanked those who had taken the time to attend and provide their feedback:
“This was really helpful in gathering the Northern Ireland charity sector’s input to the review of the SORP. It is critical that as many stakeholders as possible have a voice in any changes being considered, especially at such an early stage in the regulatory process here in Northern Ireland. I would also like to thank the Centre for Not-for-profit and public sector research at Queen’s for their help and involvement in organising and steering this process, and their involvement with us over the past few years. Finally, we were delighted to have Easton Bilsborough from CIPFA on hand to provide valuable information on some of the changes proposed to the Charities SORP and the consultation process. We would urge charities in Northern Ireland, and others working within the sector, to review the proposals and make sure that their voice is heard in this important consultation.”